Rubbing along

I have just discovered something rather marvellous. It is well known that the Greeks had several terms for love; C.S. Lewis wrote a book on the “four loves”, namely Christian love or love from charity (agape); eros or sexual love; philia, the love of friendship; and storge, familial love, especially between parents and children — less commonly of spouses, since after all, blood is thicker than water. Each has its cognate verb, in the case of the latter, stergo. But it has (broadly) two senses, the second of which is to endure evils, or as we might perhaps say, bear with them. One can, for instance, stergein a tyrant, or one’s fate, or one’s ills.

It’s easy to read too much into this sort of thing, and to do the observation justice, I’d need to delve; but at first sight, it appears illuminating.

The commitment to one’s family is not subject to evaluation. They are just there, part of the furniture; it is horrifying when parents abandon their wayward offspring, or vice versa. I’m also reminded of something a friend said to me which I may have mentioned here: in the end, you don’t love someone despite their faults, but because of their faults. The mid point might be: with their faults.

For once, I’ve transliterated Greek — fair enough I think, as I’m not discussing texts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: